The Third Week of Advent 2022

Our focus for this week was peace. Somewhere in all of this I realized I had switched the themes of the week from some of the liturgies, but it fit the services we were hosting and I did not mind so much that our themes were a bit out of order. I have found when I put things out of order pay I bit more attention. I spent the week thinking about peace in my life.

There was a time I would have cited peace as that elusive “world peace” concept. But as I have grown in experience and age, I find my definition of peace has expanded. Now peace includes being able to have conversations that do not result in arguments or the silent treatment. Peace includes being able to lay my head down at the end of the day knowing I did my best that day to demonstrate gratitude. Peace includes knowing if this were my last day I have left behind people who know I love them deeply, and my love is a fraction of the love God has for them.

I used to think people who were peacemakers were the kind of people who waded into conflict and made everyone talk it out. For sure, some peacemakers do that work. But most of the peacemakers I know spend their days making others feel valued, included, and loved. These peacemakers do this work in a million ways, by laughing with others, cooking, cleaning, providing safe spaces, by asking after loved ones, by sharing memes or reels, mostly by being present with the people who populate their days in a way that makes it known they are thankful for the opportunity to share that moment.

I am struck again this season that the peace I find in my days is because people take time to see me, and I think when that can be duplicated on a larger scale we create peace in our families, organizations, countries, and hopefully some day the world. I still long for world peace, but I recognize that will not be achieved until all of us are willing to see the value each of us holds. May we be willing to work toward that goal this season and always.